Skip to comments.Incredible find-Record arrowhead discovered in western Kentucky creek
Posted on 06/28/2010 9:57:49 AM PDT by Palter
For Darrel Higgins, finding an ancient arrowhead in a creek isn't surprising, it's actually expected. Finding a record-setting artifact that dates back to an estimated 14,000 to 18,000 years? Definitely unexpected.
Higgins has been hunting creek beds for artifacts since he began finding them on farmland when he was a child. But nothing he had found compared to the 9 3/4 inch by 2 3/4 inch specimen he recently found in western Kentucky. The item, described as a clovis point made of buffalo river chert, was submerged in a creek bed when Higgins stumbled upon it.
As soon as I picked it up, I knew what I had, he said. It's usually a long walk back to my truck. Not that day, I was walking on air.
Higgins was reluctant to specify where he found the clovis, but said he immediately went to his long-time friend and artifact expert Tom Davis in eastern Kentucky to have the item authenticated. Davis dated the clovis back to the days of when prehistoric man roamed the earth and hunted large game. By measurement, it sets a North American record.
There are some skeptics because of the size of it. But it's a record. There's one as long found in Washington state but it's not as wide, Higgins said.
Higgins had it authenticated again during the Genuine Indian Relic Society show in Temple, Texas and was able to show it off to enthusiasts. He said he has had some buyer interest but is looking for the right price to take it off his hands. It currently is securely locked away.
It's worth as much as someone is willing to pay and as much as I am willing to take, he said.
The process of discovering an item that has been buried for so long is mainly fueled by rain and erosion. Higgins said that arrowheads, spearheads and other artifacts were left behind or lost at campsites and kill sites near creeks. A creek served as a source for water for early man as well as a place to find wild game to hunt for food.
Over time, the sites were covered up. As the creeks have changed paths and continued to cut through the earth, portions of the sites have become exposed, bringing the artifacts back to the surface.
Erosion washes away the dirt, especially after deep rains. A deep freeze followed by a deep rain knocks chunks of dirt off and then a second or third rain exposes anything in the dirt, Higgins said.
To find artifacts, Higgins walks up and down creek beds while keeping his eyes locked on the ground. He doesn't dig or excavate, but looks for what the rains and water have exposed. His eyes are trained to look for perfectly straight edges and sharp points among the rocks and pebbles.
Creekwalking, as Higgins calls it, now takes up most of his free time. A typical day of creekwalking could take anywhere from five to ten hours and empty a tank of gas as he travels around the region.
I've hung up my (fishing) rods and guns a long time ago, he said. You don't always find stuff but you can't get discouraged.
Higgins lives in Hickman County but said he has found items in the Lynn Grove area of Calloway County and knows people who have uncovered artifacts in the Clarks River. As he has collected items over the years, he has sold some and kept others, but is always looking for more.
As soon as you spot one it's like a time warp. You wander back through time and think about when it was used and when it was lost, Higgins said.
Clovis, Dragon slayer, epic.
I smell a hoax.
He's right. Wow!
Are you saying that it was made in China?
“It’s worth as much as someone is willing to pay and as much as I am willing to take
He understands economics better than Paul Krugman.
15,000 years in a creek bed and still pristine? I want to believe but I'm with you; it's too good to be true.
I grew up in the Fla. panhandle, and it was common to find pieces of Indian pottery in old campsites close to some of the bays. However, if you went walking along freshwater creeks, you’d scare up far more water moccasins than Indian artifacts.
Lol. Same, for me, N. Central Fl, found many a sharks tooth over the years. As well as a few arrowheads.
More likely a spearhead than an arrowhead...
My father in law has one about 2/3 that size found in Alabama.
Me too. To find a complete undamaged point that's been eroded out in a rocky stream bed is highly unlikely. That point is in pristine condition with sharp edges where flakes were removed. The normal tumbling action of being washed in a stream would round those edges and probably break the thinnest parts.
“it’s too good to be true.”
Not really. As he mentioned, the creek changes its course, dso it’s not like there was running water on it all the time.
Hey, flint, buried in mud...
Wonder how you would flake/chip an arrow head from this raw material??
Could you age the finished product to appear pre-historic?
That's what I was thinking too. Also, if it were smaller, it would have been the head of an atlatl dart, rather than an arrow. Bows and arrows were much more recent technology.
No way...it has to be an arrowhead for Big Foot for sure...no hoax here. :)
Spear point not arrow head
Reporters are idiots....
Hmmm...sounds like he found it on someone else's land.
That might fit one of those huge arrows launched by the Urukai in Lord of the Rings, but other than that, anything that size could be a SPEAR-head, but definitely not an arrowhead.
Looks more like a spear head...
What most of you don’t understand is that creeks tend to meander especially over a 15,000 year time frame. That Clovis may not have been in the creek all that long. If a portion of the creek bank had caved into the creek, it is possible that this fellow came along at the right time and picked it up before it tumbled in the stream bed. I know several people who have seen this point in person. Some think ancient and other think not so much.
Anytime someone finds a pristine artifact, there will always be doubters. That is just the way it is. Several well known authenticators have said this point is ancient. For his sake, I hope it is. It is definitely a once in a lifetime find!
Ping a ding a ling :)
Many think the Clovis points have an European connection.
Did Clovis people have the atlatl?
Yeah. I'd hate to run afoul of the guy who could pull the string on a bow strong enough to shoot an arrow big enough to have a head that size.
Yes they did! Of course, clovis points of this size were probably not used as a spear point. The dynamics of such a heavy piece would prohibit distance and accuracy! More likely, it would have been used as a knife or it was strictly ceremonial. To bad these points can’t speak!
Blam, most informed folks think that paleo era peoples had caucasiod features and aren’t related to native Americans. Their skull features are totally different. An example is Kennewick man. European descent could have been totally possible.
You are correct about the highest density of clovis points being found east of the Mississippi. However, I tend to think that western clovis points have a more appealing look to them!
What I do know, is that they didn't have the bow; which was much more recent tech. Circle_Hook seems to have it covered in # 28.
Wow guess we should apy more attention to the flint we tend to till up every year in the garden? We are only a few miles from Flint Ridge here though so pretty normal to find them every where.
I should have said: “covered in # 30.”
Giant arrowhead ping
Giant SPEAR head ping
Thanks Palter and Outlaw Woman!
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More a spear head..than an arrow head
I don’t believe it’s a hoax. We hunt for arrowheads out here and have found a spring where we’ve found both broken and complete obsidian arrowheads. We’ve found one jasper with sinew still attached. A very amatuer guess is that they cover from about 7000 before present to 200 years before present time. The rock used is very hard and as noted, covered and uncovered by time, wind and rain.
“Bows and arrows were much more recent technology.”
I have doubts about that. It’s not rocket science.
All my kids made bows and arrows on their own before they started school.
Big spear tips impressed the women.
Clovis points are spearpoints all. The bow was not used until sometime after those people.
15,000 years and still pristine?
The usual course of finding artifacts in streams and along hills or on top of the ground is that they erode out over time after having been buried for most of time. This spear point if it is not a hoax, could easily have washed out of a creek bank during the last heavy rain storm.
Incidentally, I went to a small local museum in western North Carolina. They had an exhibit of many points dating 7 to 8,000 years old. They were all much smaller. This one would obviously be suitable for very large game, which would have been killed by the giant boloid event hypothesized by Firestone, et al. about 13,000 years ago. Sunken Civ, please post this if you have not already done so.
Thanks gleeaikin, already pinged GGG, maybe this would make a good Catastrophism ping, but it’s probably too much of a sidebar to quite make it (for now). :’)
Thanks blam for that link, I’m checking it for the GGG update message now.
Spear point. A human who could use that for an arrow head would have to weigh a thousand pounds.
Spear point. A human who could use that for an arrow head would have to weigh a thousand pounds.
IMHO this point was most likely for ceremony,,,
I also think it came from a gravesite...
Why assume it was a throwing spear? Spears are also useful as thrusting weapons, with the bonus of not throwing your weapon away.